06 July 2019
Aureococcus anophagefferens caused brown tides for three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011 in the coastal waters of Qinhuangdao, China, with numerous, widespread ecological and economic impact on ecosystems. To understand the population dynamics of nanoplankton during the brown tides, sequences of the V9 region of the 18S rDNA gene, used as a marker, were analyzed by Illumina sequencing to assess nanoplankton biomass, and real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR was performed to analyze spatial variation in the 18S rDNA copy concentrations of nanoplankton off the Qinhuangdao coast in July, 2011. The results showed that A. anophagefferens and Minutocellus polymorphus were the dominant species in the local phytoplankton community during the brown tide in July 2011. The highest 18S rDNA copy concentrations of A. anophagefferens and M. polymorphus were detected at stations SHG and FN, respectively. The central area most strongly affected by the brown tide migrated southward from 2011 to 2013. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that the decreasing NO x concentration might provide suitable nutrient conditions for the A. anophagefferens outbreak. During the brown tide caused by A. anophagefferens, other phytoplankton, such as diatoms, cryptophytes, chlorophytes, dinoflagellates and other flagellates, could co-occur with it. For zooplankton, due to less selective feeding behavior, Amoebozoa was the most abundant zooplankton at station SHG, while Ciliophora was the most abundant zooplankton at other stations for its more selective feeding.